It can be hard to know when to start estate planning. Nobody ever takes the time to stop and think about when they might die. But, in this day and age; it is a topic that should be discussed and planned for. Accidents happen all the time, and you never know if one will be fatal. It is better to be prepared and not need to start estate planning than to need documents and not have them.
When Should I Start Estate Planning?
The sooner, the better. You can always make amendments if you need to. But, it is better to have a document in place in case of emergency. The process may take some time; it won’t happen overnight. It can all be confusing, and you will need to know whether you will need a will, guardianship papers, a power of attorney or another document. Talking to an estate attorney is a great place to start. They will be able to tell you what the process will be like and what paperwork you need. Your attorney will also be an excellent point of contact later if you require to add or alter something.
See when your attorney is available. They will be able to advise you of the course of action and a timeline. If there is a reason you don’t think you will be able to start estate planning immediately, they may have a remedy. They may also have a better alternative course that benefits you more. These are all things that they are experienced in and will be able to handle for you.
You will want to ask them how much time to set aside for the appointment and add an extra hour, in case it runs long. You don’t want to rush through and miss anything or feel the need to leave before it is all discussed. Rushing and leaving things unfinished can lead to mistakes and drafting legal paperwork is not that time for that. It is also a good idea to take notes.
There will be tasks for you to complete when you leave and information the attorney will want from you. These will all be necessary for you to start estate planning and to forget or taking too long will only slow down the process. The faster you supply the needed information, the sooner you can secure the future of not only your estate but your loved ones.
How Should I Start Estate Planning?
You will want to make an appointment with an estate attorney. While you are waiting to see them, you can comprise a list of everything you have. They will want to know what you are accounting for. You can also ask them if they have a checklist for you to follow before your appointment. If not, there are plenty online. You can read more about how to start estate planning here.
Also, list all of your family members, friends, and relatives. This will be helpful in figuring out who will get what, but also if there are any family members that you need to take care of. There will be different paperwork if you have an elderly mother you take care of or children that need guardians. You may have personal items that don’t have monetary but personal value. These are things you will want to make sure go to certain people.
You will want to ensure specific expenses are covered. Knowing that your funeral costs won’t be a burden to anyone else in your life can be satisfying and leave you with a sense of security. They can be expensive, and you wouldn’t want to leave that debt for someone else. There are also taxes and fees associated with your estate that you will want to make sure are covered.
Your attorney will be able to tell you what to plan for and how much you should put aside. This is something they will also tell you where to place it. Whether it goes into a trust or not is something that you will want to discuss. Your attorney will have an in depth understanding of what the benefits are and what is in your best interest. Not all circumstances are the same. Your situation will need personalized attention and preparation. It isn’t something you can do on your own if you want it done correctly.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
You will want to start estate planning soon. You never know what the future holds, and you don’t want to take chances that may cost the people in your life dearly. Anything can happen, and at any time, you will want to be prepared. It is best to have a professional draft the paperwork, this way you know it is ironclad and your intentions are explicitly conveyed.